Human trends and pet trends are converging to blur the furry lines, as evidenced in a new survey commissioned by Michelson Found Animals Foundation, a non-profit social enterprise committed to saving pets and enriching lives. The survey of 1,000 dog and cat owners found that as humans become more tech-connected and embrace alternative health practices and diets themselves, these trends are extending to their pets as well.Michelson Found Animals predicts the top pet trends for 2019 will be: Smart Tech, Alternative Therapies and Pets Eating More Like Their Owners.
"Pets bring so much joy to our lives, it makes sense that we would treat them as we treat ourselves. But this goes beyond the humanization of pets, these predictions are about people leveraging emerging trends to make it easier to be a good pet parent and take the very best care of their pets," said Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director of Michelson Found Animals Foundation. "The macro trend of health and wellness and the increasing number of millennial pet parents are changing the way we care for our pets, and it's an exciting time."
Tech: Pets are living in increasingly smarter environments
Intrigued by pet tech and its ability to give them a better grasp on their pet's health and wellness, pet parents are motivated to give pet tech a try. Of those who do use health-related pet tech, they are interested in nutrition apps (47 percent), vet telemedicine (46 percent) and fitness trackers (31 percent) to maintain the health of their fur babies. Over half (53 percent) are interested in getting a pet tracking device or a microchip (52 percent) and four in 10 (40 percent) are interested in pet monitoring cameras. With one in four pet parents admitting they spend more on tech for their pets than for themselves, the future of pet tech is very bright.
Alternative therapies: Pets get treatments too
Pet owners who have tried alternative therapies themselves, are likely to use them on their pets as well, therefore it can be expected that pet applications will grow as the human trend continues its explosive growth. For instance, CBD- and hemp-based products are a growing trend among humans, and of those who have used these alternatives themselves, 74 percent have used them on their pets as well.
Food: Pets' plates look more and more like ours
As people's growing awareness of food's effect on health and wellness leads them to try new diets and eating plans, this trend is expected to continue to extend to their pets as well. Of those surveyed, 45 percent admit to personally following a diet and 70 percent of those admit to putting their pet on a special diet too; for instance, almost half of pet parents who eat organic, feed their pets organic too (47 percent vs. 12 percent average).
The survey revealed:
Eating like their humans:
- When it comes to diet, pets reign superior: more than half (52 percent) believe they feed their pets better than themselves. Millennials are more likely to say this (60 percent vs. 48 percent for 35+), as well as dog owners (56 percent vs. 48 percent for cat owners).
- Pet owners who are on a protein-rich diet, feed their pets protein-rich as well (45 percent vs. 17 percent average)
- Almost four in ten pet owners with a food subscription service themselves, have signed up for a pet subscription service
- Almost one in five people now feed their pets exotic protein like bison, more than a quarter (27 percent) feed them vitamins and supplements and 15 percent cook meals for their pets.